Jeremy Camp: Serving as Christ Served
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CBN.com - His rock-infused, worshipful songs have garnered a lot of well-deserved radio airtime since his debut, Stay, in 2002. With two No. 1 Christian albums (Beyond Measure and Restored) and numerous Dove Awards over the years, Jeremy Camp is a name contemporary Christian music fans know well.
This talented Indiana native brings God's Truth to audiences, fulfilling his desire to encourage believers to share their faith. On Jeremy Camp LIVE, an album recorded at concerts in Dallas, Texas, and Los Angeles, Calif., Jeremy urges the concert crowd to desperately seek after God and show His love to those who are hurting around us every day.
CBNmusic.com recently caught up with Jeremy Camp at an east coast music festival to chat about his latest release and how we can be involved in building God's Kingdom.
Hannah: Why these particular songs on this new live album?
Jeremy: Because there's so many songs on the records, you have to kind of combine down to particular ones. I think it's the ones that when we play live, in a sense, have the most impact, I guess you would say. And some of the songs have different—not different versions, but different arrangements. So it is different. The live album is different. And you hear more of the crowd participation. There's a couple of tracks in it where I actually speak, as well as an actual track, so that you get kind of more of a live feel.
So it definitely has all the kind of songs from different albums put together. You have one from every album, basically. And so it's a good mix. It's kind of like a greatest hits, I guess. Not really greatest hits. But you know what I mean? Well, it's like when you have five albums, it's like you put the songs that you play the most from those albums live. So I love it. I'm excited about it.
Hannah: You said “different arrangements.” Can you give me any specifics?
Jeremy: Like a song called “This Man,” that basically there's a section in the bridge where it breaks down, and then we do a different [arrangement] where it builds more. And it's actually a different part that we added for live. There's a part in the song called “Tonight” where you get the crowd to sing and you hear the crowd singing. Or “Let it Fade,” the same thing, you hear the crowd singing. It's just very crowd-oriented, I guess, because we're doing it live. And then “Give Me Jesus” has a different arrangement where it really builds to the end to a whole different part. So it's exciting. It's more who we are live, of course, because it's live. (laughs)
Hannah: What is the message, the overall tone of the album?
Jeremy: Really, it's kind of where I'm at right now with Speaking Louder Than Before. It's kind of the message of that record anyway, of basically not pursuing our kingdoms here on this Earth, but truly turning it all to the Lord and going out and serving and being purposeful and serving as Christ served. And I talk about even showing love, and the purpose of I Corinthians says you can do all these great things but have not love, then what's the point? You're a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. You know what I mean? So the basis of everything that we do should be out of love. And from that love, then we pursue saying, “Hey, this is why we're doing this, because of Jesus Christ,” and share the Gospel. And so it's kind of that combining of truth and love together. It's the encouragement to go out and truly be on your face before the Lord and understand His love so you truly show that love to other people.
Hannah: What song from this album -- that you've played at concerts over and over again -- gets stuck in your head and you just can't get it out?
Jeremy: I'd say “Give Me Jesus.” I don't why. And I'm glad it gets stuck in my head, because it's kind of a reminder, I guess, too. Yes, I'd say probably “Give Me Jesus.”
Hannah: Which one is your go-to song? One that you're proud of or just one that when you need this encouragement that you listen to?
Jeremy: That I listen to?
Hannah: Do you listen to your music?
Hannah: Do you want to admit that? (laughs)
Jeremy: Yes. I mean, if I haven't heard an album for a while. Like I remember recently I went to my Beyond Measure record; it was a song called “I'm Nothing.” And I want to go back to it. I don't play it live. But it's one of those songs that when I wrote it, it was very special. It says, “I'm nothing without your love. I'm unworthy, but your death has been enough. I'm completed by your touch, but I feel I've been given so much. So I thank you. So I thank you.” And it's kind of one of those like realizing my wretchedness without Christ, but understanding His love for me even in the midst of that. [It] was a very vulnerable time when I wrote that song. I'll listen to it and realize what God was showing me then, in a good way. Yes, I'm a miserable, wretched sinner, but He loves me. And to Him, I'm His child, and I can walk in that love and that understanding.
Hannah: You've passed your 30-year mark.
Jeremy: Oh, man, come on! We're really going to bring that up? (laughs)
Hannah: Your Web site says that at this point you have a more clear-cut purpose and vision of what your message is, that you're more purposeful in what you're saying. What is that purpose?
Jeremy: It's basically how I said. I get on stage and realize what God has given me, and not just I sing some songs and tell a couple stories, or something that God's done. It's more like, “OK, guys. I want to encourage you to go out to this world and show love and truth.” And so I think that's the whole thing, is that it definitely has more of a purpose. When we go and play live, ...we go and we work with like different organizations: the food banks, homeless shelters, children's hospitals or different homes that are reaching out to people. And just to actually go and say, “Hey, don't just hear me play, come to my concert, that's it, hope you have a good night.” It's like, “Hey, come be a part.” Provide this clothing that these people need. Bring canned food. Bring whatever it may be. And then say, “This is a tangible way to reach out in your community. Now, go out and look at other ways you can reach out to your family, your friends, your community.” And just so it's as proactive coming into the concert, and I'll send you out. Let's come together as the body of Christ and reach out and be the true hands and feet of Christ.
Hannah: What haven't you accomplished yet that you want to do?
Jeremy: I think right now what we're kind of gearing towards is doing more crusades [with] free events, where there are outreaches. And I feel like God's kind of calling me to speak more. So we'll probably do free events starting, hopefully, next year called “Speaking Honor Crusade.” And it's, once again, coming to community, doing outreach, working with organizations, and then embodying whoever to come to the concert, give the Gospel and give kind of a commission to go out into your community.
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